Giving birth is an incredibly individualized experience, and it is up to every woman to decide for herself how she wants that experience to go. Gone are the days when your only real option was to give birth in a very clinical hospital setting. You now have your choice of birthing centers, home births, and so much more. Water births are becoming a more popular option, and for many women, giving birth in the water is a rewarding and relaxing choice. But you still need to do your due diligence here. Weigh both the pros and cons before settling on a water birth for yourself and your little one.
Pros of Water Births
1. Water is naturally soothing. If you wish to give birth naturally without an epidural, then a water birth can provide some relaxing, natural pain relief. The water helps ease cramps and black labor, and it can also help ease discomfort in the birth canal as you go through labor.
2. Water births are peaceful for the baby. Remember, your baby has been surrounded by fluid for the past 9 months. Being born into fluid can be a more peaceful transition than being born in the open air. Your baby's disposition may be calmer in the days after birth as a result of the calm transition allowed for by water birth.
3. Water births give you more control. You can move around as you please in the water. Sit, lie down, lie on your side—do whatever is comfortable. Not only does this help bring you physical comfort, but it helps you feel more empowered during the birth process.
Cons of Water Birth
1. Controlling the temperature takes time. If the water gets too chilly, you can become uncomfortable. Your midwife can adjust the temperature of the water, but it will take the water a few minutes to warm up again. If you are someone who is easily chilled, a water birth may not be for you.
2. There's less monitoring, so emergencies are not always caught as quickly. Your midwife will periodically check the fetal heart rate and other metrics, but these will not be constantly monitored as they are when you give birth in a more controlled setting. There is therefore a slightly greater risk that emergencies won't be detected as soon.
If you have a relatively low-risk pregnancy and are not worried about temperature control, then a water birth can be a really relaxing experience for both you and your baby. Talk to local midwives to learn more, and to hear about other women's experiences.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.